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Join us in urging politicians and city leaders to prioritize public safety over politics.


Nothing is more essential to the livability of a city than public safety. But in Portland, the continued devaluing of public safety as a critical part of our city’s infrastructure is having devastating effects and our communities and crime victims are paying the price.

In 2020, Portland’s City Council defunded the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) by $15 million, resulting in the elimination of 84 police positions and vital community safety policing teams. We can’t keep doing this; our communities and crime victims deserve better. The truth is that the public safety budget represents only 4% of our city’s budget.

Violence, crime, shootings, and gun and gang violence continue to surge. There were 388 shootings in 2019, 891 shootings in 2020, and in just the first half of 2021, there have been 567 shootings—more than twice the number recorded during the same period in 2020. The data shows a dramatic surge in shootings just after the Gun Violence Reduction Team was disbanded.

The Police Bureau’s Traffic Division officers were reassigned at the start of the year to fill vacant patrol shifts, and twice as many people have been killed in traffic-related crashes this year.

It’s time to reevaluate and make the data-driven decision to fully fund and staff our police bureau.

There is a lot of talk about reimagining policing and implementing alternative responses to police. In the meantime, crime victims are paying the price every day. Shooting after shooting, bullets are indiscriminately fired on our streets—each bullet is a tragedy in the making. And these aren’t just statistics and numbers; when it comes to preventable violence, these are lives at stake.

We implore our politicians and city leaders to use every tool available to address the violence with both short and long-term solutions. Enough talk. It’s time for action and results. It’s time to put our communities and crime victims first.

The politically driven talking point that “the only job of police is to solve crime” is as irresponsible as it is false. Political posturing endangers our communities. Our communities deserve enough police officers to meet public safety priorities including:

  • Proactively policing to prevent crime;
  • Responding to calls for service;
  • Prioritizing the needs of crime victims;
  • Investigating and solving crimes;
  • Addressing the deadly surge in gun and gang violence;
  • Serving those who are impacted by livability issues surrounding homelessness;
  • Assisting those suffering in mental health crises;
  • Engaging in proactive community policing in our neighborhoods; and
  • Ensuring the safety of Portlanders and our officers.

As Portland’s population has grown by over 170,000 people in the last 20 years, there are fewer police officers now than in 1999.

It’s time to put politics aside and put public safety first. To our politicians and city leaders, it’s time to invest in keeping our city safe.


To Portland politicians and city leaders,

Fully fund & staff the Police Bureau, put communities & crime victims first, and invest in keeping our city safe.



Protect Portland is sponsored by the Portland Police Association.
[email protected]